2002 Pine Ridge Stags Leap District Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1018476 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 The ’01 was a hard act to follow. If the ’02 lacks a bit of the rich opulence of its predecessor, it may be a more ageable wine. The tannins are thick yet sweet, covering ripe black currant and oaky-mocha flavors that last through an impressively long finish. *Cellar Selection*  (8/2006)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 My favorite, the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District, boasts a dense ruby color as well as a terrific perfume of cedar, spice box, black currants, and sweet cherries. Medium to full-bodied, elegant, pure, and rich, it should drink beautifully for 10-15 years.  (12/2006)

Connoisseurs Guide

 Complexing touches of mint and herbs and lots of vanillin oak are layered atop curranty fruit in the nose, and the wine shows the same mix in its moderately deep and very well-formed flavors. Carefully structured and ever so slightly smooth on the palate, it is wine that speaks directly to classic Stags Leap refinement and is thus easy to taste even now.  (4/2006)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Includes bits of petit verdot, malbec and merlot) Good bright red-ruby. Deep, candied aromas of black fruit liqueur, licorice, mocha, mint and flowers. The slightly exotic candied character carries through onto the palate, which offers sweet, fat flavors of black raspberry, mocha and chocolatey oak. The texture is supple despite a bit of spiky acidity. Finishes with sweet tannins.  (5/2006)

K&L Notes

A 'Cellar Selection' designation from Wine Enthusiast: This Cabernet Sauvignon, with its supple tannins and black cherry fruit flavors, is a pure expression of the world-famous Stags Leap District appellation. The Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon is produced in the Bordeaux style by carefully blending Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. The climate leads to slow, even fruit development. San Pablo Bay marine influences result in moderate temperatures, foggy mornings, and warm late afternoons throughout the growing season. The majority of Pine Ridge's estate vineyards in this region grow on steeply-terraced hillsides with Bale clay loam soils. The Bordeaux varietals are densely planted, with spacings ranging from 4 x 6 feet to as narrow as 3 x 5 feet, which allow competition between the vines, producing lower yields per vine with a greater intensity of flavor.

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.